Summer synth – Pico Synth

As I’m currently jobless I decided to dedicate those two (promising) hot months to build a tinny synth (and the video synth as well).

The name for this project is “pico-synth”,  as everything seem to have no other destiny than being smaller and smaller today (micro-brute, mini-brute, micro-key, micro-usb, micro-brain ?) I decided to be even stupider and call it “pico-synth” even though I’m pretty convinced that it won’t be small. I could go totally mental and call it “fempto-synth” but no one would get it.

Building a synth is an idea that I’ve for years now. Never really took the chance to go deeper because, quite frankly, first of all, I’m lazy. Second, I realised that I’m more interested in the journey than the destination (as I heard recently). Beside, synth isn’t a tinny thing that you can put under a bed or in your cupboard. However, as the idea is always popping up for time to time I decided to fulfill this to have a bit more peace in my head.

Beside, let’s face it the idea of a modular synth on itself is so nice, a kind a mad scientist piece of machinery. People must think that you’re desinging a plan to conquer the world when you’re manipulating that thing.

Anyway, before losing my mind and start this evil plan of mine and before going all modular, I decided to build a small one with the only absolute requirements (to save time and effort). A kind of compact and self contained synth.

Putting it in a suitcase or pelicase could be nice as well, an hommage to famous British synth.

Anyway, here’re few pictures of the filter in action that I’ve just put together few hours ago.

IMG_1133A simple LM13700 state variable filter. That wasn’t been without lost and death in the road though. Those LM13700 are really fragile beasts but I guess cooking them isn’t recomended either (2mA or more in the bias pin and they’re dead, let alone short circuits…)

IMG_1142Right next to it it’s the vca, the yusynth VCA.

I won’t be clever and use some modules available (MFOS, yusynth, paia ect…) and maybe some of my own (I’m planing to add a Russian Germanium distortion circuit). I won’t reinvent the wheel.

I want to save space and components count. Soldering those veroboards, or even PCB, is the worst thing ever but no one will do it for me (or cheap enough anyway).

Next things : ordering the power supply PCB, ordering some more veroboards, solder, buy components, build the VCOs and think of a case. I’ll try to post the building process along if there’s any lost soul following this blog.

After that I’ll try to get a life…

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